Comprehensive Review of the STAR Math Online Assessment

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STAR Math is an online assessment program developed by Renaissance Learning for students in grades one through 12. The program assesses 49 sets of math skills in 11 domains for grades one through eight and 44 sets of math skills in 21 domains for grades nine through 12 to determine a student’s overall math achievement.

Areas Covered

The first- through eighth-grade domains include counting and cardinality, ratios and proportional relationships, operations and algebraic thinking, the number system, geometry, measurement and data, expressions and equations, numbers and operations in base 10, fractions, statistics and probability, and functions. The 21 ninth- through 12th-grade domains are similar but much more intensive and rigorous.

There are 558 total grade-specific skills that STAR Math tests. The program is designed to provide teachers with individual student data quickly and accurately. It typically takes a student 15 to 20 minutes to complete an assessment, and reports are available immediately. The test begins with three practice questions designed to ensure that the student knows how to use the system. The test itself consists of 34 math questions varying by grade level across those four domains. 


If you have Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, or any of the other STAR assessments, you only have to complete the setup one time. Adding students and building classes is quick and easy. You can add a class of 20 students and have them ready to be assessed in about 15 minutes.

STAR Math provides teachers with the appropriate library that each student should be enrolled in for the Accelerated Math program. Students who work in the Accelerated Math program should see significant growth in the STAR Math score.

Using the Program

The STAR Math assessment can be given on any computer or tablet. Students have two choices when answering the multiple-choice style questions. They can use their mouse and click on the correct choice, or they can use the A, B, C, D keys that correlate to the correct answer. Students are not locked into their answer until they click "Next" or push the "Enter" key. Each question is on a three-minute timer. When a student has 15 seconds remaining, a small clock will begin to flash at the top of the screen indicating that time is about to expire for that question. 

The program includes a screening-and-progress monitor tool that allows teachers to set goals and monitor a student’s progress throughout the year. This feature allows teachers to decide quickly and accurately whether they need to change their approach with a particular student or continue doing what they are doing.

STAR Math has an extensive assessment bank that allows students to be tested multiple times without seeing the same question. In addition, the program adapts to the students as they answer questions. If a student is performing well, the questions will increasingly become more difficult. If he is struggling, the questions will become easier. The program will eventually zero in on the student’s correct level.


STAR Math provides teachers with several reports designed to assist in targeting which students need intervention and areas where they need assistance, including a:

  • A diagnostic report, which provides information such as the student’s grade equivalent, percentile rank, percentile range, normal curve equivalent, and recommended Accelerated Math library. It also provides tips to maximize that student's math growth. In addition, it details where a student is specifically in meeting both enumeration and computational objectives.
  • Growth report, which shows the improvement of a group of students over a specific period of time. This report can cover a few weeks or months to several years.
  • Screening report, which provides teachers with a graph that details whether students are above or below their benchmark as they are assessed throughout the year.
  • Summary report, which provides teachers with whole-group test results for a specific test date or range, which helps to compare multiple students at one time.

Relevant Terminology

The assessment includes several important terms to know:

The scaled score is figured based on the difficulty of the questions as well of the number of questions that were correct. STAR Math uses a scale range of 0 to 1,400. This score can be used to compare students to each other as well as themselves over time.

The percentile rank allows students to be compared to other students nationally who are in the same grade. For example, a student who scores in the 54th percentile ranked higher than 53 percent of students in her grade but lower than 45 percent.

The grade equivalent represents how a student performs compared to other students nationally. For example, a fourth-grade student who scores a grade equivalent of 7.6 scores as well as a student who is in the seventh grade and sixth month.

The normal curve equivalent is a norm-referenced score that is useful for making comparisons between two different standardized tests. Ranges for this scale are from 1 to 99.

The recommended Accelerated Math library provides the teacher with the specific grade level that the student should be enrolled in for Accelerated Math. This is specific to the student based on her performance on the STAR Math assessment.

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Your Citation
Meador, Derrick. "Comprehensive Review of the STAR Math Online Assessment." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Meador, Derrick. (2020, August 26). Comprehensive Review of the STAR Math Online Assessment. Retrieved from Meador, Derrick. "Comprehensive Review of the STAR Math Online Assessment." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2023).